Friday, November 13, 2009

MSNBC: Teacher shortage has given way to teacher glut (via Newsalert):

Since last fall, school systems, state education agencies, technical schools and colleges have shed about 125,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At the same time, many teachers who had planned to retire or switch jobs are staying on because of the recession, and many people who have been laid off in other fields are trying to carve out second careers as teachers or applying to work as substitutes to make ends meet....

But the nationwide demand for teachers in 60 out of 61 subjects has declined from a year earlier, according to an annual report issued this week by the American Association for Employment in Education. Only one subject — math — was listed as having an extreme shortage of teachers. In recent years, more than a dozen subjects had extreme shortages.

43 Comments:

Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

GAAHHH! And my younger daughter just got her Masters in Education!

(Fortunately, her B.S. is in Biology, and she's qualified to teach Earth Science as well. It'll look good on her taxi medallion, anyway.)

5:44 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

My theme this weeks seems to be: In a private entity it's hire and fire at will. In the gubmit, you have a job for life. This is why during a recession everyone wants to be a teacher.

Fortunately my city's schools system has created a wonderful workaround. We get many of our new teachers from the Philippines on a H1 visa. This way when the young rapscallions behave badly and pull out the guns and knives the teachers don't complain. If a teacher starts causing trouble we put them back on the plane. The Philippines, it's a good thing.

7:41 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

"Only one subject — math — was listed as having an extreme shortage of teachers."

I can explain this easily, from personal experience.

I'm an engineer (BS/MS) and I like teaching (I coach sports and I was a TA in grad school) so I looked into possibly teaching if I make a career change. I got something akin to the following:

"Well, you'd have to get some kind of a certification, and you'll have to work on a Master's in Education while you are teaching." And of course I'd have to join the union and pay dues that go to God knows what.

Then I find out that it's a tough entry because they have a less-qualified but long-tenured teacher in the system they will move over from the history or music classroom. It wasn't about the money, I looked at all the barriers to go through - I'd already been to grad school once, I didn't want a double-dip work-and-school experience for two more years - and said to hell with it, I'll teach at the juco (or private school) or just judge the science fairs.

No offense meant to Francis' daughter, but every single teacher (without exception) that I have talked to about the M.Ed. has said it was the biggest waste of time of their lives.

When you then consider that people who are skilled in math can get good work (engineering, accounting, analyst jobs) and how the math/science/technology-smart are denigrated as geeks in America today, it's easy to see why a smaller fraction of math-skilled people will want to go into teaching and why we have a shortage. Some will, because that's what they want to do, but if we are talking about incentivizing career choices, skilled math and science people who could contribute to education (and as a rule don't like it when things don't run smoothly) are pushed off the curve.

I spoke this spring with a science teacher who majored in physics at Virginia Tech (good school) then took a year-long course series on "teaching science" as part of a certification. They discussed lesson plans, testing plans, the works of bureaucracy...except they never actually discussed HOW to TEACH SCIENCE to kids! A whole year of this!

10:01 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Quasimodo said...

All those spare teaches could set out shingles to privately tutor kids cursive writing skills. The schools claim they don't have time to teach it and the kids can't sign their name, read or write cursive. Twenty-five kids is such a burden these days ... I seem to remember more than 50 kids in some class rooms and time to teach cursive too.

10:17 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Did anyone else read an article that noticed how most of the so called stimulus money went to teachers and education?

Trey

11:02 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

useless trade-unionist bastards....they cancelled my oldest boy`s music program this year complaining that there weren`t enough kids interested in music....

...sure.

11:58 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anyone
RE: Heh

Did anyone capture the full story at MSNBC?

I ask because NOW the story is no longer available. At least as far as I can see. All I get are 404 error messages.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. I intended to beat the local teachers and school district officials over the head with that one.

12:26 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: dr.alistair
RE: Yeah....Right....

useless trade-unionist bastards....they cancelled my oldest boy`s music program this year complaining that there weren`t enough kids interested in music.... -- dr.alistair

.....HERE, they closed all the gymnasiums and such to any use by the public unless you pay exhorbatant user fees.

And they CLAIM to be supportive of the general public. My fourth-point-of-contact....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth is coming out....]

12:29 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. Even members of the City Council here are getting upset at them.

12:29 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger fred said...

those who can't do things, go into teaching. Those who can do things see those things done in Chin and in India. Those who can not be replaced (hands on work) get to have a paycheck. Our military now has no problems in filling its ranks. Our teachers mostly employed though cutbacks in some areas. meanwhile, district supervisors, college presidents, and administrators in school (all levels) increasingly emulate Wall St execs and bankers with huge salaries.

Whe UI went to college, an out of state student paid about a thousand bucks more for tuition than an in-state student. Now they pay 3 thousand or more, and most states now up the number of out of state students so they can fix budgets. This means that your kid does not get into his state school (you pay taxes for it) so you send him out of state and pay a heck of a lot more for him.
Doesn't get better than that, right?

3:56 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

we had a p.d. day here today, and while i appreciate the time i get to spend with my children, i realised as i sat in starbucks that i was surrounded by teachers....some professional developement.

recently the catholic school board in our city got funding to put artificial turf fields at all of thier facilities. beautiful surfaces ideal for soccer, rain or shine.

they have put fences around them all and ask fees for use...on top of the fees the city already charges for sports fields....

4:46 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Michael said...

Topher,

I see the same thing with librarians. I was talking with a couple of librarians at a local branch and it turns out they both had MLS. I asked why the library hired people with such a level of education at branch level. They said some people didn't have MLS but the rules require that only people with MLS can can shelve reference books. Sillyness

8:55 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Dr.D said...

For a lot of people, going into teaching as a second career has been sort of a future plan for later in life, usually associated with retirement. As many people are being laid off, that "retirement" schedule is being accelerated and they are moving to the second career sooner than previously planned. For many it does not work nearly as smoothly as they had dreamed, partly because of the education degree nonsense and even more so because of the horrors of the school environment today. One way or another, many people do not carry through with this long held dream second career, and they are left to cast about for what to do instead.

10:40 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

I am a math/science teacher and for the most part, I enjoy it. What I do not enjoy are the nasty comments about how cushy we have it, how teacher are overpaid(you must be joking), how teachers 'should suffer too' by taking pay cuts, how teachers are lazy, how teachers just pull stuff out of a 20 year old binder, how anyone could do it, how all the problems in America are our fault, how we don't teach the basics anymore (like cursive) despite having only 25 students...

Every bit of this stems from ignorance. Most people assume they understand what teachers do because they went to school. But that doesn't mean you know everything we do and the laws have changed significantly since we were kids.

I am now, by law, responsible for teaching math to range of students. At one end of the spectrum, I have a young man who is identified as special ed whose math skills have been tested at the 3rd grade level. At the other end of the spectrum, I have students who could be doing 8th or 9th grade level math. I am expected to 'diffierentiate' my instruction to all of these kids... every day.

Additionally, the math content has changed and expectations for teaching that content has changed. Many of the things we learned as Freshman or Sophomores are not being taught to middle school students.

Oh and as for government jobs being for life, we give up big salaries, promotions, stock options and bonuses for job security and benefits. Now people want us to give up that and still have crap wages. I just don't get it.

7:21 AM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger Dr.D said...

@ Lisa

"Many of the things we learned as Freshman or Sophomores are not being taught to middle school students."

Isn't middle school 7th and 8th grade? If so, why would we expect what we learned as Freshmen and Sophomores to be taught to 7th and 8th graders? I think something did not come through here.

9:12 AM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

should have said are, not are not.

10:05 AM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger 888 said...

nice article....................................................................................................

11:21 AM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

lisa, i think it`s obvious why people criticise teachers....

i teach adults....and some of thier children.

in fact i first have to unteach them many things they were put through (i won`t say taught) as children, some of which occured at the hands of employees of school boards.

the educational system is an indoctrination of repetitive skills and obedience to prepare the individual for a life of menial tasks for a wage.

it is no wonder the job is stressful for transmitter and for the reciever of such conditioning.

it used to be that one could make the best of school with sports and music and art and such, but with the shift in delivered services due to apparent budgetary issues, school life is becoming more like a lock-down penitentuary.

as more of the old schools are being torn down, more jail -like facilities are appearing in thier place.

something for you to think about while you are summering somewhere.....

4:04 PM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

Alistair,

Clearly, you are living in a world of your own delusion.

I've taught in three states now and not a single school I have ever been in matches what you imagine.

10:37 PM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger robbdecker said...

Lisa,
You're wasting your time.
I've watched so many honking, braying, loudmouthed donkeys walk into this profession in Aug. and leave whimpering at the holiday break I've simply stopped counting.
They're ALL experts at something they've never done, just like a goodly number of the posters here.
As for myself, I just let'em talk.
agape,
robb

10:59 PM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Mr. Decker,

I sincerely hope you don't vote after all, you've never made sausages.

I judge other professions precisely because I have to. I judge anyone who's going to be on my dime. I make sure that my doctor seems to know what he's doing, I make sure my dentist is skilled with his hands, and I make sure my legislators know what the hell they're going to Washington(or Denver) for. Or well, at least I try to. Likewise, due to teachers(at least the public school kind) are on the public dime, I'd have no problem judging them as well. (I make judgments on private employees as well, but typically in a different form, I can either buy a company's product or not.)

Further, teachers on aggregate are no doubt payed too much. The fact that teachers(once again of the public school variety) are members of well established Trade Unions. Trade unions raise salaries for their members at the cost of jobs(or they normally would; in this case it just all costs us above market price to employ the teachers and hence costs the tax payers greatly more money).

Further, I imagine you are against teachers who are fresh out of college...after all they're people who claim they are "experts" who have never done what they are teaching(such as being a journalist, editor, or writer for an English teacher).

Lisa,

You must work in the North East because every school I've seen west of the Mississippi(I never get out East admittedly) looks like they where designed by Albert Speer. Further, if you are a math/science teacher as you claim, you'd probably be paid at(or maybe even currently bellow) market price just so all your colleagues in English and Social Studies can be paid at your level. However, you probably like the unions because they force in unnatural barriers to competition(such as teachers training which is mostly useless bureaucracy training) and hence keeps the competition in your profession unnaturally low.

12:22 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

lisa, i am please to hear that you don`t work in a school with all the design elements of a penitentiary like the one`s my children attend in ontario. my children are also seeing a drop in the amount of art, athletic and mucic programs.

this is no hallucination. this is a my reality as a parent hopeful that my children would recieve more than vocational instruction.


and yeah, unions, like all stupid criminals do net harm to society over time. thier strong-arm bullying tactics have become the darling of the underachiever and the slow...providing them with cushions to thier natural fate in a real value market.

and of course, summers off!

8:57 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Malishious Intent said...

Damn, I am coming back to the US and was planning on trying to do teaching. This is not good news.

9:25 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Hi Lisa,

DO you think your union is screwing you? Since you don't have good pay? The unions certainly seem to have plenty of money to give to Democrats, but not much for teachers pay. You ought to be looking hard at your union.

Also, we here didn't place the mentally challenged guy in your classroom. Most of us would probably want him in another room with his mental level peers. You need to look at those who advocated the policies which screwed you and the rest of your charges over.

Also, you are free to pursue life in the free market to get those stock options. I didn't impose your low wages. Again, look to your union. Maybe the teachers unions could spend less on socialist Democrat politicians, who are ruining the economy which results in less tax dollars to spend on teachers and school infrastructure.

I agree that teachers don't have it easy, what with your authority in the classrooms being gutted by the beurocracy and assorted do-gooders who also don't teach. I'd say your fight should be with them, rather than those here.

You should bear in mind that the teachers unions are the public face of people like you. So, when I see your union continuously using ( I'd say abusing) their financial clout to affect elections in ways that aren't teacher/employer or fair wage related, be prepared for my opposition.

What the hell is a teachers union doing advocating gay marriage or anything not related to your pay and benefits? Yet they do so. Why are you putting up with it? They are stealing money out of your wallet and spending it on non-teacher pay related politics. Your beef is with them, not us here.

Your unions are meddling in non-teacher affairs and affect my life in a negative manner by electing politicians who want to take more money from me and grow the government. Expect blowback from that.

Or, you can call for your union to stick to teacher business and quit supporting political policies that aren't helping your profession.

When the teachers unions renounce being involved in politics that aren't directly related to your pay and benefits, you will have my full support. Until then you will have none.

11:13 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

Alistair,

Summers off but summers unpaid.

4:15 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ted,

I live in Michigan where we are fighting to protect our health benefits and pay. The state has slashed funding repeatedly for 15 years since they decided to do away with local funding and schools are struggling. This year, my district is facing MID-YEAR cuts of $600 per student. That's nothing to sneeze at. At the same time, the state's dipping into teacher's pensions have required, by law, that school districts spend a huge portion of their budget making up those shortfalls. For years, we've taken pay raises at less than inflation to protect our benefits and now the state is trying to smash them.

So no, I don't hate my union. I don't always like its politics but I don't see how that is any worse than the local real estate companies using money to control the city council or the NRA, the Catholic church or any other group that lobbies. I have the right to be represented too.

4:20 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Lisa,

Ah-ha! The fact that you live in Michigan explains much.

Back during the 50-70's Michigan strengthened it's laws concerning unions and making the state vastly more pro-union and anti-business. This was fine because the American automakers had such dominance in the US and World markets during this time. Michigan could rely on the automakers as the centerpoint of their economic policy. However, with increase competition from the Japanese automakers, it effectively stopped and reversed growth of the American automakers.

Now, the pro-union laws of Michigan are working against her as she can't attract new businesses to her. Without the taxes of new businesses how can the state keep up with it's obligations to it's workers? It simply can't.

Hence, your union and the public employees union and any other public unions will be fighting it out over increasingly smaller economic pies.

6:26 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Fai enough Lisa, but your union is not representing you very well. They are representing the politicians who they give your money to.

For instance, I don't recall any NRA stands on abortion or gay marriage. I bet there's a platform from your teachers unions supporting those things. Why is that?

Thats what I am talking about. They don't represent teachers when they branch out like that, because there are teachers who are opposed to those things or who want to keep their professional lives separate from those issues.

Also, a real state firm is more likey to impact your bottom line in a positive manner, as they bring paying jobs to families who then send their children to your classroom.

So, don't bitch about low pay when your union is supporting political positions that have no bearing on the classroom, but bring opposition to your profession from those who would otherwise be on your side.

7:56 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ted,

The Catholic church does have a stand on those things. Do you have issues with them?

And no, that real estate firm ISN'T going to ever be on my side because they OWN vast quantities of rental properties. They are the second largest land owner in my community of over 100,000 people.

9:38 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Lisa said...

Let's talk about teaching conditions outside of Michigan. My first teaching jobs were in the South. After 5 years experience, I made less than $30,000 and had an outrageous deductible of $2000 per individual and this was with a Masters degree. This was a "right to work" state (what a ludicrous name) and we were all state employees without the right to unionize. Crap pay. Crap benefits.


But for some reason, folks seem to believe that is all teachers deserve and we should somehow be grateful to have that.

People who think its outrageous that teachers have a decent salary and decent benefits are really nasty people.

9:43 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Lisa,

If you havn't noticed, the Catholic Church's business is morality while a school(at least a public school) isn't in that business.

9:43 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

And you left that state depriving them of a teacher, as is your right. If they have a shortage of teachers in the future, it's because teachers left that state for greener pastures.

I simply think a teacher should be paid market price, just like any other worker.

Of course, that's not very likely to happen(namely for the same reason it doesn't happen for other public sector workers, like police officers and government bureaucrats, they're publicly funded and hence have no worry for the bottom line they can simply tax more). But when a teacher(or any public sector worker) says "I'm not paid enough, I want more money." I simply think, if the market is offering more money, why havn't you jumped ship into the private sector? Furthermore, when you say you want more money...you do know where that money comes from, taxpayers. So you're asking me, as well as other taxpayers, to pay you more money out of our wallets...and I hate to say it but why should we?

If there is a new college graduate who is ready and enthusiastic about a career in teaching ready to take your place for less money then why shouldn't we take them and dump you? This has been happening in the private sector for decades.

Oh, and nice ad hominem at the end.

10:11 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Lisa,

Not my fault that you have to have a masters degree to get a crappy 30k a year and health benefits you think suck. Again, your union is screwing you. Why is there millions for your union to spend to elect Democrats, but you are paid like shit and have shit benefits? If you want more money, change your unions focus to get you better pay or go find another job.

Not only that, but when your union is funded by what is ultimately tax dollars stolen from your paycheck and they only support one political party, don't you think that your union is making unnecessary enemies on the other side?

People that would ordinarily support you in your professional capacity don't care for the politics of your union. I view your unions delving into politics outside of your pay and benefits to be unprofessional, hence I view teachers who support their unions non-teaching related politicking to be unprofessional. Especially when money is taken from those teachers who disagree with the non-teaching leftwing political agenda pushed by your union.

7:22 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

and....your arguement about being unpaid during the summer is your position.

you are paid period.

in canada, where the teacher`s union owns hockey teams and it`s stock purchases effect whole markets, teachers are paid more.

my friend`s wife is paid nearly $100,000 and she pulls the unpaid in the summer routine too.

i don`t see her taking other work.

she has been conditioned by the unions to be contentionus and resentful in her station and complains about every facet of her work, including the children in her care...which i`m sure they feel each and every day.

she lives in a house full of antiques, drives a new car and has time off to get professional development during the work year to learn how to better communicate with mother governement.

we really don`t like the whining at any salary, because it`s just that.

8:16 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Prime Designer said...

Lisa's Union is not screwing her. 30k a year is what people are willing to pay for a teacher.

It doesn't matter if you have a Master's, or a Doctorates. They just need you to convey some basic concepts to kids.

That's it.

In the meantime, books have become cheap and plentiful. There's no reason why kids can't take over the majority of the learning process.

9:55 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

kids have always taken over the majority of the learning process.

nobody taught them to speak.

they did it themselves.

teachers and schools are designed to get kids to sit up straight and do simple repetitive taskes for eight hours a day and then take summers off.


wait a minute...

10:04 AM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

Lisa,

I thank you for your working with the children of my home state of Michigan, a political disaster area that needs all the help it can get to produce something - anything.

Teachers as a whole are in a hell of a bind. Permanent adolescents who never grow up and weren't interested in school will always see teachers as "the Man," middle-aged fuddies trying to cramp their style and obsessed with stupid stuff like real learning. Meanwhile, alistair's comment is correct - much of school is teaching kids a baseline set of etiquette and social-order skills, and high-performing smart kids will almost always resent the fact their learning was slowed down to keep the median students in the game. So two of the most vocal - if not numerous or correct - groups will carry a grudge against the educational establishment for life.

Teachers like to talk about how they mold the minds and hearts of the nation's future. This is true, and it goes both ways. As one in the latter category above, I am eternally thankful for those who went the extra mile to give me opportunities to satisfy my potential. I also eternally curse those who punched the clock, shortchanging me and everybody else, in some cases committed major misconduct, and were allowed to keep their jobs with a pat on the back - all while feeling proud of themselves for it, and taking the opportunity to complain about their pay and what snots we students were.

Onto the issue. I appreciate union action to provide a sane working environment for teachers (and all workers) My friends who did TFA in inner city schools have regaled me with appalling stories of student misconduct and administrative malfeasance.

What I do not care for is union action in political affairs beyond the interest of its workers' jobs. Examples have been cited above so I won't repeat.

What most strongly bothers me is not that there are entrance requirements to the profession (they better not let some joe wander off the street into the classroom), but that the requirements have nothing to do with potential or actual teaching performance and lots to do with psychobabble and bureaucracy (this is what I have been told by teachers themselves). The hurdles seem intentionally tuned to keep out people with skills that could be used outside the teaching industry - isolating the teaching corps to keep wages high.

Let me illustrate to make my point: the ability to teach is invaluable in almost any job. However, the process of becoming a fully-fledged teacher is almost useless outside of the teaching industry.

On finances: if teachers have to incur what they feel is excessive debt and training for the pay they receive, then the entrance requirements have priced teachers out of their economic power. Rather than being economic "buyers," the high debt (again, from the outrageous college tuition they have little control over and the master's degree the industry has lots of control over) means they are economic "sellers" who have to stay in the biz to pay off the debt and thus have less negotiating power.

(BTW, that may be where we go in medicine if national health care drops doctors' compensation vis a vis the debt cost of medical school.)

Unionized wages and opposition to merit pay are another brick in the wall. Sure the conscientious teachers want to do better, but as a whole the system is not incentivized for improvement.

(Merit pay has lots of wrinkles I don't want to go into but it must irk a good teacher to make only as much as a shmuck down the hallway?)

On another note: everyone has factors of their job they don't like, but the cliche "they don't pay me enough for this" is a fallacy. One can never be paid enough to enjoy things they don't enjoy. Most of us just deal with it, and don't expect other people to feel sorry for us. This is not directed at you as much as it is at some of my teachers, who felt the need to guilt-trip us when we were in school.

12:04 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

Finally, it goes way beyond the pros and cons of the teachers. The entire education process is screwed up, from self-important school boarders to spending levies on palatial facilities that don't enhance learning, to the cooked college admissions process to zero-tolerance rules to parents who expect the school to turn their lazy layabout into a merit scholar. So don't get me wrong.

12:04 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Good points Topher.

I am currently attending a trade school that turns out motorcycle technicians. The only requirement is 5 years working in the field. No degree required. Except for advanced subjects, I'd say the majority of teachers could fall into such an experience category and do well with a short course on teaching and then be an assistant teacher for a term prior to getting their own classroom.

4:31 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

the disconnect most students have with teachers is that most don`t want to be teachers when they grow up....unless their choices dry up.

5:33 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

Lisa honey, no Catholic loses a job for refusing to put money in the collection basket.

Try defending your hopeless union's thugs again. Show your work.

9:43 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Jeff Y. said...

Despite the glut of teachers, many school districts are bringing in H1B teachers from foreign countries, instead of hiring Americans.

Worse, the federal government has issued over 1 million - read that again, 1 million - green cards in the last 18 months!

We have the worst economy in sixty years, and the feds are still adding workers even as unemployment tops 10%.

Our work visa and immigration policies are hurting Americans. Hurting them bad.

Helen, I think Glenn needs to rethink his position on H1B and immigration.

9:48 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Cargosquid said...

To improve their working environment, teachers need to regain their authority and independence. That said, the mantra of more pay and smaller classrooms needs to stop. That will not get more money for teachers. School systems need to hire more teachers and administration and build more schools. That just makes UNIONS richer. Why is a Masters needed to teach K-12? If the Navy can teach nuclear science to 18 year old students without Masters educated teachers, why can't teachers do the same with history or math at the lower levels? Having seen the level of knowledge that my 4th grader has to learn, a bachelors level degree with courses in instruction should suffice.

Teachers complain of low pay. And they don't get paid during the summer. You knew this going in. My highest pay was 42K. After 20 years and that included hazardous duty pay in a combat zone. And we didn't get the summer off. And we don't have unions. But, I knew this going in....

My mother taught in the 60-70's in Louisiana. Her pay after 15 years was about $900 a month. She hated the union and would walk through the picket lines telling the other teachers to "get back to work." The unions did nothing but cause dissension. Nothing was improved.

If a teacher wants to improve the working environment, convince the public that its worth the money. Change the way public education is financed. Privatize the schools while paying the parents a voucher. Let each school support itself. Good teachers will get paid more.

12:58 PM, November 20, 2009  

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